Coulson Knew of Phone Hacking, Ex-News Corp. Reporter Says

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Andy Coulson, a former aide to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and one-time editor of News Corp.’s defunct News of the World, knew about phone hacking at the tabloid, an ex-reporter said at a Scottish perjury trial.

Clive Goodman, the paper’s former royal reporter, told the court in Edinburgh on Wednesday that his then boss knew about the illegal practice soon after he became editor of the weekly tabloid.

Coulson, 47, denies lying about whether he was aware that News of the World employees were involved in phone hacking. He had testified in 2010 at the trial of Tommy Sheridan, a Scottish lawmaker who was charged with committing perjury in a defamation lawsuit against the News of the World in 2006.

Goodman, 57, said on Wednesday that he told Coulson about how he proposed to use a private detective to look into various members of the royal family at a meeting in October 2005.

When asked whether Coulson had voiced any concern about hacking, Goodman said that it “didn’t come up” at the meeting. “He was worried about the cost,” Goodman said, in response to a question from Richard Goddard, the lead prosecutor.

Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator used by the News of the World, initially kept the jobs that involved hacking to himself, Goodman said.

“I’d worked out he could crack stories very quickly,” Goodman said. The “stories that he cracked had something to do with communications.”

Goodman pleaded guilty to phone hacking charges in 2007 following a police investigation which uncovered phone hacking of members of the royal household.

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